Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Top 10 Ultimate Warrior moments, matches and memories!

With the sad news of the Ultimate Warrior's passing last week, it got me thinking about all the wonderful memories I have of one of my greatest childhood heroes. The Warrior even got a mention during a speech from my father on my wedding day such was the lengths I went to idolize the WWE legend when I was a youngster. Heck, who am I kidding - after the right amount of alcohol, even today I have been known to splash on the face paint and strip down to my underpants and salute the man!

Too much information? With that being said, perhaps it's best I skip straight to my top 10 Ultimate Warrior moments, matches and memories!

10. Induction into the Hall of Fame
Arguably this one should be a lot higher in the list, but I personally think it’s the perfect place to start to prelude everything that made the Warrior the legend he became. He could have used the platform to have one final dig at the WWE for the bad blood that had gone on between the two in the passing years, but instead he was gracious in his thanks to Linda and Vince McMahon. But perhaps the most memorable part of the whole induction was his first appearance since 1996 on Monday Night Raw two days later. It was vintage Warrior, or Wawr-yer as he would say, but at the same time extremely poignant with what would develop just a day later. In what must now viewed as an extremely emotional speech the Warrior declared the WWE fans were the ‘legend makers of the Ultimate Warrior’. With the tragedy that would strike less than 24 hours later it is this part of that speech that stands out the most: ‘Every man's heart one day beats its final beat, his lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others, and makes them bleed deeper, than something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized by the storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him and make the running the man did live forever.’


9. The ultimate package
If, like me, you were a kid growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, the best possible wrestling fix you could hope for in the UK would be a balding obese guy called Shirley Crabtree belly-flopping someone who looked like they had just been plucked out of the local Weatherspoons. So you can imagine just how awe-struck I was as a 10-year-old the first time I struck eyes on this growling, face-painted long haired beast from parts unknown, storm to the ring with a physique that looked like it had been chiselled by the Greek God’s as ring music reminiscent to Eye of the Tiger blasted out across the arena to a thunderous ovation. In a sport that had been previously dominated by one man, here was a guy who didn’t preach that we had to say our prayers and eat our vitamins. Instead, here was a guy who spouted off gems such as ‘Load up the spaceship with the rocket fuel!’ and invited us to ‘Come on in where nightmares are the best part of my day!” A few years ago the WWE released a DVD called The Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior which was basically Vince McMahon’s opportunity to take a cheap shot at a man who he was clearly at odds with. The likes of Chris Jericho and Triple H mocked the Warrior’s nonsensical promo’s but as a kid growing up during that nostalgic era of the WWF (that’s right, I said WWF – none of this WWE nonsense. Proper wrasslin’!), no one came close to the power, mystique, intensity and damn-straight craziness of The Ultimate Warrior!


8. The Warrior destroys Triple H at Wrestlemania XII
In what would be one of a number of Ultimate Warrior ring-returns, this one probably stands out for all the wrong reasons! After yet another reconciliation between the Warrior and Vince McMahon, this match saw the return of the Warrior with what was no-doubt planned as a high-impact comeback as Triple H – the future COO of the company – was squashed in less than 2 minutes. But the part that undoubtably left the most sour of tastes in Triple H’s mouth was having the Warrior completely no-sell his trademark finisher The Pedigree. Alas, this would be the Warrior’s final foray with the WWE prior to his Hall of Fame induction as he would later leave the WWE under another cloud and we would not see him again until…


7. It’s all smoke and mirrors in the WCW
I turned 20 in 1998 and just about every wrestling hero I had as a teenager seemed to be plying their trade in WCW at the time. It was like a massive retro-themed wrestling amusement park and it should have been amazing. The notion of Hulk Hogan being a bad guy was still a novelty that was hard to fathom for all the little Hulkamaniac’s and the scene was set in 1998 for arguably the most iconic wrestling collision to happen all over again when the Warrior turned up in WCW. It all started with so much promise, but the fact Warrior had pretty much been given carte blanche to do so as he pleased with his character, and Hogan was seemingly only interested in an ego-boosting victory over one of the few men to have pinned him cleanly meant that this was just another example of a wasted opportunity for the now defunct WCW. 


6. The real Royal Rumble super posedown
Many will remember the Super Posedown at Royal Rumble 89 that kick-started the memorable feud between Ravishing Rick Rude and the Ultimate Warrior, but that has nothing on the posedown that came one year later when two of the biggest babyfaces in the company would come face-to-face in the briefest of moments that would change sports entertainment forever. Hulk Hogan was the untouchable force in the WWE that had ruled the sport for the best part of a decade beating giants and macho men along the way. But no one was prepared for what was about to follow as Hogan and Warrior cleared the ring until only the two of them remained in the every man for himself contest. Every single fan held their breath as their two heroes locked eyes on each other for the first time. Neither man budged as they met in the centre of the ring and as one simple double clothesline floored them both, we as fans were already hooked on to the life-support of wrestling at the prospect that these two gladiators might, just might, face each other in the ring for real one day.


5. ‘I said I’d wrestle anyone, I didn’t say I’d wrestle a warrior!’
In what was a career-defining moment for the character building of the Ultimate Warrior, his match against the Honky Tonk Man at Summerslam 88 will live long in the memory. The Honky Tonk Man had annoyingly held on to the Intercontinental Title for a record-breaking 18-months; somehow escaping defeat after defeat via the backdoor. But when the arrogant Honky marched out to the ring and demanded an opponent stating he’d fight anyone, a wrestling icon was truly born. The moment that instantly recognizable guitar riff hit the speakers the crowd inside Madison Square Garden were on their feet as the Warrior stormed to the stage and took Honky apart in a mere 31-seconds to capture his first title. Everything about this squash worked perfectly from the stunned expression on Honky’s face, to the sheer brute force in which the Warrior took his opponent out with, to the comical after-match interview in which Honky bemoans ‘I said I’d wrestle anyone, I didn’t say I’d wrestle a warrior!’


4. Warrior returns at Wrestlemania VIII to rescue Hulk Hogan
This is a personal favourite of mine because it was one of those occasions when no matter how many people felt the need to tell me wrestling was ‘fake’ the sport still managed to grab me by the scruff of the neck and throttle me with so much excitement that I’m sure I actually peed in my pants! If you watched wrestling in the late 80s/early 90s you were in one of two camps – a Hulkamaniac or a Little Warrior. For those Little Warriors like me, there was a gap in our lives when the Warrior left the WWE in 1991. Sure we cheered for Hulk Hogan, but it wasn’t the same. So as Sid Justice and Papa Shango beat up on our replacement hero at the end of Wrestlemania VIII something incredible happened. The first beat of that unforgettable music reverberated around the arena. Surely it couldn’t be, could it? The second beat. No, it has to be a mistake. The third, the fourth, the fifth… and he’s back! In true Warrior style he came to the rescue of the Hulkster and the two of them shared a Wrestlemania ring for the second time in as many years and it was a truly beautiful sight. Now stop looking at me, I’ve got something in my eye…


3. The Warrior retires the Macho Man
It seems incredible to think that these two gladiators of the ring are sadly no longer with us. Of course for me it is a generational thing for me, but I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better story-line and feud than the one the Warrior and Randy Savage played out throughout the early 90s. It all started with Savage costing Warrior to lose his World Title to Sgt Slaughter at Royal Rumble 91 and culminated in one of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history which cost Savage his career. In between, Savage went completely off the rails and separated from his long-term manager and main squeeze Miss Elizabeth, but after the gruelling match-up which saw the Warrior come back from five top-buckle elbows to beat the Macho Man with a one-footed pinfall, Savage was reunited Elizabeth and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! Sasvage would eventually be re-instated and the two of them would do it all again in a great match-up at Wembley Stadium for Summerslam 92!


2. Warrior/Rick Rude feud and Summerslam 89 and 90 matches
It’s only when you start to write a list like this that you realise just how many great matches the Warrior was actually involved in. Of course, there is one match that clearly stands out in everyone’s mind but for me, the Warrior and Ravishing Rick Rude Summerslam duals in 1989 and 1990 were absolutely top drawer. This is a feud that raged for nearly two years taking in Royal Rumble’s and Wrestlemania’s along the way, before these two classic summer showdowns. The first would see the Warrior gain revenge for his Intercontinental title defeat at the hands of Rude (and literally the hands of Bobby Heenan) at Wrestlemania V as he regained the belt, before the two would clash again a year later, this time inside a steel cage for the world title. I’m not too sure which one I would say is the best match, but if I was hard pressed on the subject I would probably opt for Summerslam 89 down to no small part in the near hysterical state Tony Schiavone manages to warp himself into at the end of the match!


1. The Ultimate Challenge
It was hardly going to be anything else now was it! One of the most iconic images of wrestling in the early 90s, if not all-time, has to be that of the Ultimate Warrior’s silhouette standing in front of the huge in-ring firework display holding aloft the two WWE championship belts. After allowing us fans to dream the ultimate wrestling dream by giving us a taste at the Royal Rumble of what a Hulk Hogan vs Ultimate Warrior showdown might look like, that dream became a reality when it was announced that the Ultimate Challenge would take place at the SkyDome in Montreal, Canada at Wrestlemania VI. It was champion vs champion, title for title. Of course, Hulk Hogan would win – he always wins, but then something happened. The Hulkster didn’t win! It was like a torch had been passed as the two embraced at the end of what would be named Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Match of the Year 1990. This match cemented the Warrior’s legacy and for that moment he was the main man in sports entertainment, and for many wrestling fans who remember that golden year like this Little Warrior, he still is and always will be.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

John Terry photobombs the Oscars!

There is a very good chance that Chelsea will end up with some silverware this season, but that didn't stop that man John Terry making sure he got in on the action at Hollywood's biggest bash of the year. When host Ellen DeGeneres decided to take a selfie with some of the biggest stars at the awards ceremony, step forward the undisputed champion of the photobomb squeezing in next to Brad Pitt. JT take a bow son...

John Terry photobombs Ellen DeGeneres' selfie at the Oscars!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Top 10 reasons why Vince McMahon should buy Newcastle United

Rumours have been flying around on the internet today that billionaire WWE owner Vince McMahon is set to become the latest American to buy an English football club with Newcastle United firmly in his sights!

Just imagine how awesome it would be if Vince actually did decide to take that giant leap across the pond to dip his toe in Premier League waters. And there were Geordie fans thinking they had a circus on their hands with Mike Ashley in charge! If this happens then I want someone to tell me immediately as I'll be first in queue for a season ticket and here's why...

Top 10 Reasons Why Vince McMahon Should Buy Newcastle United

WWE, referees, premier league, special guest referees,
10. Controversial refereeing decisions would go through the roof
Whether you love them or loathe them, one of the biggest talking points in the boozer at 5.30pm on a Saturday are the refereeing decisions that have affected the game we love.

Imagine what would happen if you threw in the odd WWE official to rule over a game. They already wear the barcodes of Newcastle so surely it wouldn't be long until Vince had them in charge of all the games down at St James Park. And instead of missing clear-cut penalty shouts or poor offside decisions, we'd have referees knocked unconscious and missing goals or the odd ex player turning up as a special guest referee (Vinnie Jones anyone?!).

WWE, Divas, Geordie Shore, Geordie Shore Girls naked, Geordie Shore sexy,
9. Newcastle already have their very own Diva's in place
The WWE has always been home some scantily clad women who cat-fight inside the squared circle for our entertainment and in those lasses from Geordie Shore Vince already had his very own ready-made Newcastle Diva's ready to tear things up.

Imagine the chaos that would ensue when these girls turn up and clash with the WAGs, especially after the latest tabloid sensation involving a married footballer and one of the Geordie Shore girls. That has the ultimate pillow fighting slumber match written all over it! That is Pay-Per-View gold in my book (that or late night soft porn)!

Vince McMahon, Newcastle, WWE, Vince McMahon buys Newcastle FC,
8. You need passionate fans
Newcastle fans have often been called the most passionate of football fans in all the land which is just as well because they'll need that to match the average WWE audience. Combine the topless beer-bellied fans of the Magpies with the banner waving wrestling junkie and you'll have a carnival atmosphere at St James Park every week.

And lets not forget WWE fans are a sucker for a great chant. What?! I said WWE fans are a sucker for a good chant. What?! Did you see what I did there? Of course you did!


Wayne Rooney, WWE, Promo, interviews, crap football interviews, bad football interviews,
7. Players would have to cut amazing promo interviews
In the modern age of wrestling the WWE superstars are judged not only on their grappling skills but also how good they are at cutting promo's. We pay good money Sky Sports and BT Sports to watch their coverage of the Premier League and we deserve more than a monotone Steven Gerrard going through the motions. We want effort damn it! Imagine Wayne Rooney bitch-slapping Geoff Shreeves, calling out Joey Barton, and then asking the fans if they can smell what Coleen is cooking!

Zinedine Zidane, headbutt, World Cup 2006,
6. Players could have their very own unique finishing moves
There is nothing quite like the excitement you feel when you know your favourite WWE superstar is about to pull out their signature move to finish the match, so why shouldn't footballers have a move to get the fans going?

We could have had the Steve Stone Stunner, or the Neil Ruddock Big Belly Splash, and Zinedine Zidane certainly would not have finished his career in shame if the People's Headbutt was something we'd been waiting to see!

Cockney Mafia, Vince McMahon, WWE, Newcastle,
5. Vince could run the Cockney Mafia out of town
There is nothing like a good feud in the WWE, and if there is one way to win over the Geordie fans then Vince could do a lot worse than start his tenure as the new Newcastle owner than feuding with the Cockney Mafia and sending them packing! And why not go the whole hog and bring back Degeneration X to get the job done?

Roman Abramovich, Sheikh Mansour, Vince McMahon, WWE, Newcastle,
4. Vince could go head to head with the other billionaire owners
Vince McMahon is no stranger to taking on the rich and powerful. In the 1990s he went head to head with media mogul Ted Turner when the WWE (then WWF) won the ratings war against arch rivals WCW, and more recently at Wrestlemania he took on Donald Trump in the ring. So Vince would have no problem dealing with football boardroom battles with the likes of Roman Abramovich or Sheikh Mansour. In fact, Mr McMahon would probably revel in pitting his wits against his billionaire foes and who wouldn't want to see the three of them battle it out in the main event of Money In The Bank! Throw in the odd Vincent Tan and tag teams like The Venky Brothers and you already have the perfect WWE circus in waiting.


Alan Shearer, Vince McMahon, Newcastle, one hand slaure, celebration, WWE
3. Alan Shearer and the one handed salute could make a comeback
If Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair can still turn up in spandex and throw themselves around a wrestling ring at the combined age of 319 years old, then Alan Shearer can certainly don the black and white of the Toon one last time! Some of the greatest WWE storylines have been based on great comebacks and surely Vince would be able to create the greatest and most flamboyant comeback in football history. Imagine this - one minute Alan Shearer is sitting on the MoTD set watching his beloved Newcastle lose another game. The next thing he snaps and punches Robbie Savage, rips open his shirt to reveal the famous barcodes and sprints off towards St James Park where he runs on to the pitch and nods in the winner home against Sunderland in injury time. Now that's what you call a comeback!


Joe Kinnear, Newcastle, Cockney Mafia, Vince McMahon, WWE, Joe The Volcano,2. Joe Kinnear would almost certainly turn-up as General Manager on Smackdown
You can't keep a good man down and when you have the sort of contacts that Joe Kinnear's got, then we would undoubtedly see the legend make a return. Granted it might not be a football stadium near you anytime soon, but this man would be a box office smash if he traded football for wrestling and turned up as the latest General Manager on Smackdown as the ultimate bad guy.

Think about it - the fans would hate him instantly, we'd have some great comical moments when he gets all of the wrestler's names wrong and RAW certainly wouldn't have to worry about him signing any of their talent! And the media have already given him the perfect wrestling name - Joe The Volcano!

Vince McMahon, Newcastle, WWE, starting XI,
1. Imagine the Newcastle team line-up! 
Forget Barcelona or Bayern Munich, this Newcastle First XI would strike fear into hearts of any team they faced. I'd like to see Cristiano Ronaldo complain after The Big Show has just clattered into him from behind! And they'd have to re-write the rule book with this lot as the professional foul turns into a suplex off the corner flag!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Books For Men Book Reviews goes social!

Books For Men, Book Reviews, Book For Men Book Reviews, Lad Lit, Dick Lit, Chcik lit for Men,

Just as the headline suggests, I have decided to create a Facebook page and a Twitter account exclusively for my Books For Men Book Reviews blog! Please check them out at the links below and show your support with either a cheeky Like or a friendly Follow to keep up to date with all the latest Books For Men Book Reviews!

https://twitter.com/BookReviews4Men
https://www.facebook.com/BooksForMenBookReviews

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Top 10 reasons why I should be the sixth member of One Direction

Okay, it's that time of year when we start making some resolutions and today I am throwing my one into the hat. In 2014, my New Year's resolution is to join Harry, Liam, Niall, Zayn and Louis as their sixth member. Here is my top 10 reasons why this should happen:

10. Six of us would be able to beat the shit out of the five in The Wanted
I have been keeping a careful eye on the trash talking that has been coming from those chumps in The Wanted and I don't like it one bit (although it is a bit like watching a re-run of the Take That and East 17 feud which is pretty cool). The problem 1D have here is that those boys in The Wanted look a bit harder, and they have that Tom Parker dude who looks like he could have just stepped off the Aylesbury Estate on the Old Kent Road. But with me in the band we have the numerical advantage plus I have taken one Thai Kick Boxing class, so I'm ready to kick some butt. I also know how to use Twitter.

One Direction, The Wanted, feud, One Direction The Wanted feud, One Direction 6th member, One Direction sixth member,

9. I have already perfected the air-grab technique
If there is one must-have thing that all boy-banders should have in their arsenal, it has to be the air-grab technique and clearly as this picture demonstrates - I have it down to a T! If you look carefully, my hand is perfectly poised to clench at precisely the right moment and the emotion etched in my face tells you I mean every single word of the song I'm singing; which just happens to be boy band classic MMMBop by Hanson.

air grab, boy bands, One Direction,

8. Zayn needs a best man for his upcoming wedding with Perrie from Little Mix
I have no idea when this wedding is taking place, but if I am to perform best man duties to the best of my abilities, it's important that I join the band sooner rather than later so me and Zayn can bond like brothers. We all know how important the best man duties are - they include:
  • Arranging the stag-do (Center Parcs here we come! Harry will love it - there are some right old tarts there)
  • Getting Zayn to the church on time (no expense spared mate, Addison Lee all the way) 
  • Singing Margate by Chas & Dave as Perrie walks down the aisle (honestly mate, it's what she would have wanted)
  • Writing an awesome speech where I regale tales of our childhood (you're from Mitcham like me right?)
  • And the most important best-man task of them all - sleeping with the bridesmaids (Zayn, which one is Perrie? I promise I won't touch her...)
One Direction, Little Mix, Perrie Edwards, bridesmaids, wedding, Zayn Malik,

7. My autobiography is already out
No self-respecting pop star can be expected to be taken seriously without having their own autobiography out within five minutes, and luckily I am way ahead of you - my autobiography is already out! Granted, some of the names and places have been changed but these were just down to legal reasons. In typical celebrity autobiographical fashion, at the heart of my self-penned book The Drought is a story of struggle and  adversity which I had to overcome. That's right, it's a story about how I suffered a sexual drought and couldn't get my leg over for eight months. Just thinking about it brings a tear to my eye. Maybe we should move on...
 The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, pop star autobiography, One Direction,
6. I can cut some serious shapes on the dance floor!
Those 1D boys looked like they had a blast making that Best Song Ever video but a sixth member would have really completed the circle. Someone once commented on my dancing: "You look like Frankenstein on acid" which was nice. So I reckon I'd fit straight in. I wouldn't need any training, I'd just rock up and let it all go. The only thing I ask is that you give me a bit of time to get up to speed. As the picture suggests my timing is a little out at the moment...

One Direction, dancing, dancing badly, One Direction dancing, One Direction dancing badly, Best Song Ever

5. I am already used to performing in front of big(ish) crowds
I am well aware that One Direction have the odd fan or two and spend a lot of time in front of big crowds at their sell-out concerts, but I do not find this daunting; not in the slightest! You see, I am already comfortable performing in front of crowds. Back in 2011 during my my stand-up comedy days I spent 12-months going up and down London, sometimes performing whole five-minute comedy routines in front of audiences as big as 13 or 14 people. I'm ready for the crowds 1D have in store for me - no problem!

Steven Scaffardi, stand-up comedy, One Direction, concert, sell-out, crowds,

4. I know how to treat the ladies
Being in One Direction brings a certain amount of responsibility, especially when it comes to the ladies. Whether it's thousands of adoring screaming female fans or celebrity girlfriends, you can't be in 1D without having a certain flair with the opposite sex and I have that in abundance. So bascially lads, what I'm saying is that I'm ready to do my duty as a good One Direction band member and tackle the likes of Rihanna, Kelly Brook, and Susan Boyle. And if you don't believe me, then just check out my video on how to become a player...


3. Harry Styles needs a proper wingman
It's been a tough year for poor old Harry. The guy just can't seem to catch a break when it comes to the ladies, but as I have clearly demonstrated above, I know exactly what to do when it comes to finding the perfect woman and winning her heart. I think Harry's main problem is that he has been making poor choices when it comes to his wingman selection policy. Rumour has it that Harry jetted off to Las Vegas with Justin Beiber at the start of the year to help them get over their break-ups with Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez respectively. That's your problem right there sunshine - what does Beiber know about getting girls? And as for your choice of location, you have a lot to learn. If you really want to meet the right woman, you can't go wrong with the Wetherspoons in Mitcham. Full of birds, and all around the age group you like as well...

Harry Styles, girlfriends, Harry Styles girlfriends, One Direction, ladies man, Wetherspoons, Mitcham, older woman, cougar, Harry Styles wingman, Harry Styles Las Vegas, Justin Beiber,

2. I have been in a boy band before
That's right, I have walked the walk and talked the talk. I don't step up to the plate without being to back it up. I have already tasted the highs and lows of being in a boy band; mostly lows if we're being honest. The only real high was when we were in Amsterdam but that was more of a herbal high than a successful high, but I digress. Please allow me to present my boy band CV:

Old Spice, boy bands, Brit awards, Brit Awards 2002
Old Spice: 2002
This is me and the boys at the Brit awards in 2002. We weren't actually nominated for any awards, or even invited for that matter. In fact we had to all chip in and pay for a table which was the beginning of the end for the group as we blew our entire album budget on that table. From right to left to right we have Ginger Spice, Bald Spice, Champagne Spice, Ethnic Spice and at the front is Paul O'Grady Spice.

United Nations, boy band, urban music,
United Nations: 2006
This was back in the days when I was throwing down some urban beats, so I put together a group to fill the gap left by bands such as Damage and S Club Seven. The boys laid down the vocals and combined with my expert rapping skills, we could have been huge but we got embroiled in a bitter legal battle over our name as some organisation reckoned they had it first. Whatevs.

No Direction, Boy band, pop music
No Direction: 2011
I went on that reality TV show God Loves a Trier hosted by John McCririck where they were putting a boy band together. Only four auditioned so we roped one of the cleaners in to join. Problem is, McCririck was also our manager and he bet most of our record deal on the horses, which only left us with enough cash to make one of us look like a real boy band member. That created friction and the band split.


1. I know how to reinvent myself
If you want longevity in this crazy pop star world, then you must be able to reinvent yourself. All the greats know how to do exactly just that to preserve their careers. Just look at the likes of Madonna, Robbie Williams, and Gareth Gates. They all have that magic formula to keep things interesting and make sure the fans don't get bored. I am a master of the reinvention; and I have been known in some circles as The Chameleon such is the way I am able to alter my look; whether it is my dress-sense or my haircut. And if you don't believe then just check out this bad boy...

Pop star, pop star reinventing themselves,
So there you have it 1D. I have made my pitch and I will now patiently, yet confidently, wait by the phone for Harry, Liam, Niall, Zayn or Louis to give me a call. If you all look into your hearts, you know deep down that 2014 won't be the same without Champagne Steve in your ranks. Come on!

Monday, 30 December 2013

The Top 10 things you never knew about the Karate Kid!

So I'm sitting there the other night having one last quick flick through the channels before hitting the sack when ITV2 selfishly force me to stay up until the early hours because they choose that precise moment to show the Karate Kid! It doesn't matter that I have seen the film 897 times - when Daniel LaRusso and Mr Miyagi appear on my TV screen it is like a drug I simply can't say no to and it's time for one last fix (I promise!).

It is hard to believe that next year the film will be 30 years old. People say that nostalgia is a wonderful thing, but screw that - it just makes me feel old! In fact, the only other thing that makes me feel older is when I meet someone who was born in the 1990s.

But I'm prepared to give nostalgia a go and that's why I put together this Top 10 list of things you never knew about the Karate Kid!

10. "Sweep The Leg" is a song!
No More Kings used the famous line in their 2007 song 'Sweep The Leg'. Any self-respecting Karate Kid fan remembers the shock on Johnny's face when John Kreese tells him to go after Daniel's injured knee to win the All Valley Karate Championship, and follows up by asking "Do you have a problem with that?" Here, play the song as you read the rest of the list as it acts as a nice soundtrack...


9. Mr Miyagi didn't even bloody know karate!
I feel a little bit cheated here. All those years of practicing wax on, wax off and the man didn't even know a single move! Apart from some basic training on the film, actor Noriyuki "Pat" Morita openly admitted he had never formally trained in any martial arts. I suppose that goes a long way to explaining why he got nominated for a Best Supporting Actor role at the 1984 Oscars (yes, that's right Mr Miyagi got nominated for an Oscar!).

karate kid, wax on wax off, Mr Miyagi

8. In fact there were only two real black belts in the entire film!
Ron Thomas (who played Bobby - the guys who breaks Daniel's leg) and Darryl Vidal (who Johnny beats in the semi-final) were the only two real black belts in the movie. Of course, anyone who remembers the montage during the All Valley Karate Championship will clearly remember that Vidal (who was a 1st degree black belt during the film) sticks out like a sore thumb with his skills and easily would have kicked everyone's ass in that tournament. He was so bloody good that he even uses his own name in the film. In turns out that Vidal is actually the secret star of the film as it is him dressed in a body suit and a bald-head wig when we see Mr Miyagi doing the crane kick on the post at the beach. Cheated, again!

Mr Miyagi, Karate Kid, beach scene, crane technique


7. Webber-san?
Daniel's original last name in the script was "Webber" according to the DVD commentary. It just doesn't quite have the same ring to it now does it, although it's fair to say that former Manchester United striker Danny Webber would have some great football somgs from the terraces if the name had stuck.

Karate Kid, Mike Barnes, Daniel LaRusso, footballer Danny Webber, Danny Webber, Karate Kid III, Karate Kid 3,

6. Dutch is Steve McQueen's son
Dutch, who for me was always the baddest bad-ass in the Cobra Kai's, is in fact the son of acting legend and the king of cool Steve McQueen! He went on to appear in several films throughout the 80s and 90s but his real passion was always race car driving, and over the last decade he has enjoyed a good racing career competing in several types of racing from Motocross to the Baja 1000. A serious injury in the Daytona International Speedway in 2006 caused him to call time on his racing career and he now owns a custom motorcycle and race car company.

Steve McQueen, Chad McQueen, Dutch, Karate Kid

5. The fight scenes were real!
Well, sort of! During the scene where Daniel gets his ass kicked after the Halloween dance, William Zabka (who plays Johnny) is seen to throw a front kick at Daniel. The kick actually caught Ralph Macchio on the face and injured him. John Kreese would have been proud of that one. No mercy.

Karate Kid, Johnny, Halloween, Halloween dance scene, No Mercy, Daniel LaRusso, Cobra Kai, Skeleton costumes,

4. The Karate Kid was a comic character first
Long before Daniel LaRusso came along and made the name famous worldwide, a kid by the name of Val Armorr was already doing the name of The Karate Kid proud by taking on opponents like Batman no less! In fact, the movie makers had to get special permission from DC Comics who owned the rights to the name as The Karate Kid was already a character in their Legion of Superheroes series. There is a credit at the end of the film to DC Comics.
Karate Kid, Legion of Superheroes,

3. What if Rocky was the Best Around and Daniel-san had the Eye of the Tiger?
According to Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Joe Esposito, the song "You're The Best" which appears in the All Valley Karate Championship montage was originally written for Rocky III (which explains the lyric "History repeats itself"). The song had been rejected in favour of "Eye of the Tiger".

You're the best around, eye of the tiger, Karate Kid

2. Charlie Sheen was originally cast to play Daniel LaRusso
Imagine if Tiger Blood was the winning formula rather than the Crane technique. That's what would have happened if Charlie Sheen had not turned down the role of Daniel LaRusso. Sheen claims his dad advised him against the role and told him to do a lesser film instead. To be fair, could you really imagine Sheen putting up with having to paint the fence? In the end a 22-year-old Ralph Macchio got the job and spent the entire making of the film trying to convince the cast and crew members that he wasn't lying about his age!

Karate Kid, Charlie Sheen, Daniel LaRusso,
1. The Crane Kick is not a real martial arts technique
That man Darryl Vidal steals the show again as he explains he came up with the idea for Daniel's memorable finishing move, and what's more - it's not even a proper martial arts move! Vidal said: "...the crane technique, as depicted in the movie, isn't a real move in any karate or kung-fu. Pat Johnson (the martial arts adviser on the film) told me what he wanted, and I basically said, "you mean something like this?" It is widely recognized, and I still hesistate when I tell my karate students that I made it up. But as you might have guessed, there is very little practical application to the technique." Bollocks, all those years of practicing the bloody thing and it doesn't even work!

Karate Kid, Crane, Crane Technique, Martial Arts, Steven Scaffardi, stand-up comedy,

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Jennifer Lopez turns up at the Catchphrase studio to tell Carol Vorderman she wants her ass back!

Rumour has it that Jennifer Lopez was in a foul mood this week after finding out that someone had stolen her backside and was flashing it around willy-nilly on ITV game show Catchphrase. J-Lo must have been seething when she spotted this picture of Carol Vorderman turning up at the studios...

Carol Vorderman, Cathphrase, hot, ass, Jennifer Lopez, sexy, Countdown, MILF,

I know she's in her 50s, and she's a maths geek, and she was pretty dowdy in those early Countdown years... But you would wouldn't you?